By Josh Low
Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe SDB has last week spoke of the role of priests and focused on the importance of living what we believe as Catholics at the 2017 Chrism Mass.
Hundreds of lay faithful from across Perth attended the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Costelloe and concelebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, Emeritus Archbishop Barry Hickey and Vicar General Fr Peter Whitely, together with numerous priests of the Archdiocese on Tuesday 18 April at St Mary’s Cathedral.
Three Holy Oils (Oil of Catechumens, Oil of the Sick and Oil of the Chrism) were blessed by Archbishop Costelloe to be used by clergy in their Parishes for the Sacraments of Confirmation, Ordination, Anointing of the Sick and Baptism throughout the year.
The Mass also saw clergy and laity renew their promises of commitment to holiness of life and to service of the Church and society.
In his homily for the occasion, Archbishop Costelloe referenced an ancient Latin saying, expressing its significance in the Catholic tradition.
“Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi may be translated into English in this way, ‘as we pray, so we believe, and as we believe, so we are called to live’,” he said.
“As I have said often, we are called to celebrate the Eucharist so that we can become, in our communion with the Lord, the presence of the Eucharist in the lives of others.
“In memory of Jesus and in union with him, we too are called to hand over our lives for the life of the world,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
The Archbishop added that in God’s plan, priests are essential for the fidelity of the Church as a whole.
“We know that we are unworthy servants, that our invitation to our brothers and sisters to a life of greater fidelity is also and often even more an invitation to us, and that we need the example of the fidelity and faith of our communities of faith as much as they need the example of our fidelity and faith.
“It is only through the empowering presence of the Lord Jesus in the midst of his Church that any baptised Christian can hope to be faithful.
“It is our role as priests to bring alive, in a particular and sacramentally powerful way, this empowering presence of the Lord,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
This is why, Archbishop Costelloe said, in the official liturgy of the Church celebrated that evening, the renewal of the priests’ commitment to their priesthood is accompanied by an invitation to the whole community of faith, represented by all who gathered at the Cathedral, to pray for our priests that they will be faithful to their vocation.
“Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi. As we pray tonight, celebrating who we are as a Church, rejoicing in the gift of the Eucharist, recommitting ourselves to being Eucharistic people, receiving with gratitude the sacramental gifts of life, strength, commitment and hope, and praying for our priests and bishops, may we believe what we celebrate in this Cathedral, and live it out in our daily lives with courage, enthusiasm and joy,” he concluded.